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London Olympics 2012: A Perspective



Olympics are about a three thousand old tradition, started in Greece. They are, traditionally, meant to bring people together, and establish and maintain harmony and peace. In ancient Greece, all wars used to be stopped at the time of Olympics or Pan Hellenic games, as they named for the five grand events, organized in those days. People, organizers, judges, athletes and spectators came from all over to participate, to watch and to make those possible. In those days, women, slaves and foreigners were not allowed to participate. Only unmarried women were allowed to watch. All athletes practiced and participated, completely nude. This tradition was started, in order to create a complete harmony of body, mind and spirit.
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The participants were mostly the wealthy and powerful people. Spectators included all kind of people and masses. The most popular reward in Olympia, the main site, was a wreath or crown of leaves. These crowns were made of different types of leaves, at different venues. Though, direct financial rewards were not common, specially, in the main events, the winning brought lots of financial, political and social rewards and respect, at local and city levels. Winners were like celebrities at those levels. They were broadly respected and, elected and selected to political offices, which resulted in financial well-being, as well. On personal requests, their statues were erected, in cities and localities, and famous poets wrote poems in their honor, citing their outstanding achievements.
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The major, as well as the minor and smaller sporting events and competitions were preceded by musical and singing competitions. When sporting events were started and grew broader and bigger, the singing and musical competitions were mostly embedded within these sporting competitions and events. This tradition lasted over a thousand years and were continued under Romans.
The overall theme and names of events were religions, and were named after major gods and goddesses. It was believed that the victory was bestowed, to the winners, by gods. An special female, angel like messenger, brought victory to the winners of those competitions and games.
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Those games then gradually disappeared under Pagans. In 1776, the original site of Olympics, Olympia, was re-discovered by a British traveler, which ultimately resulted in to revival of Olympic games, as we know those today.
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Modern Olympic games, while carrying and continuing many traditions of original Olympics or Pan Hellenic games, are very much different from their original Greek predecessors. They are not exclusively Greek events, anymore. Rather then that they are, now, global. Their participation is not limited to men or elite or free people only. Anyone who qualifies and officially represents a member country or nation, can participate. Women are now an integral part of games. As a matter of fact, some of the female events and competitions are, now, more popular the male events.
As a matter of fact, Olympics have become a multi-billion dollars industry, worldwide. Their is fierce competition, between member countries and nations, who can afford, to win the hosting of these competitions and events. Hosting of Olympic games and competitions, brings lots of attention, respect, visitors, tourism and money to the hosting country. Media wars are a1so a part of these competitions and games. The rights for coverage can cost billions and still be profitable, specially for TV channels and their owning companies. Plus, this coverage provides lots of attention to the hosting country. Participating athletes, if properly impressed, can become a free ambassadors for the hosts. Visitors and spectators to these events and competitions bring lots of money to spend, as a whole, providing valuable revenues and profits specially to the hosting, transportation, communication, food and retail industry. Olympics can virtually be a big financial and business boost to currently dwindling economies. Billions, involved in advertising, promotions and placements, are additional.
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It is generally expected and hoped that global events and specially the global sporting events and competitions, due to very wide and deep universal interest in these occasions and celebrations, promote harmony, peace and understanding between countries, nations and the members of the nations, world over.
Unfortunately, in spite of all these perceived, potential benefits of Olympic games, there are valid concerns, regarding the facts that these games are increasingly getting politicized and are progressively becoming money games, gradually losing the original them of international harmony and peace. The boycott of Moscow Olympics by western countries has been highly criticized in this regard. It is noted that while Eastern block countries have always fully participated in the success of these games, western countries have not been that much open minded. Politics aside, these games must not be effected by political and other differences. That should be the spirit. Talk about political differences and their effects on global sporting events, Eastern block countries can now boycott on the basis of western involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other countries. Fortunately, that is not the case, which is a very good thing. Important is that all the members of IOC maintain the same spirit, all the time and these games must remain above and beyond political differences and ambitions. These games should be a source to resolve and negotiate those differences, not to highlight and aggravate those.
They are already at a point where it is virtually impossible for a smaller developing country to even think about hosting these games. Training of athletes has become so organized, technical intensive and expensive that the gap between rich and poor countries is being continuously widened. The games are, in fact, becoming a show off between bigger, richer and developed countries, and economies. Look at the biggest squads, and the list of winners and the list of hosting countries, and you will be surprised to discover, how apparent and obvious it has become, already. If we want to preserve the true global nature of these games and original theme of harmony and peace, then, these issues need to be addressed, as soon as possible.
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Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. (http://www.excitingads.com) and blog (https://search.excitingads.com). He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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